Solar energy systems save you money, but how can you save money on solar energy systems? Let’s look at some incentives offered by utility companies, the state of Indiana, and the federal government that could help you save even more money with your solar energy system.
Here in Indiana, the following companies offer Net Metering utility incentives: Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan and Power Company, Indianapolis Power and Light, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, and Vectren.
Net Metering means you’ll receive credit on your utility bill based on energy your solar system produced that your house did not consume. Your system capacity size must be equal to or less than 1 megawatt. Basically, if your solar panels produce more than you use in your home or business, the excess electricity flows back into the grid for your neighbors to use and your meter runs backwards to track your system’s excess energy. This is how your credit is determined. Note: rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities net metering policies may have different policies.
State Solar Incentives
Indiana offers a Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption for solar energy systems installed after December 31, 2011. This exempts the assessed value of the system from property taxes. If you want to claim this deduction you’ll need to fill out Form 18865 and file it with your county’s auditor.
Federal Solar Incentives
The Rural Energy for America Program provides grants and loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for rural businesses and farms. Your local USDA office will be able to answer any questions farmers or rural dwellers may have.
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a tax credit of 30% of cost with no upper limit that can be applied when you purchase a solar energy system outright and have it installed on your home. This applies to solar water heaters and to solar PV systems, as well as structural improvements to roofs to accommodate solar panels. This credit falls to 26% of expenditures after 12/31/19 and 22% of expenditures after 12/31/20, but expires after 12/31/21, so to be eligible for that 30% you’ll need to get moving on your solar energy installation soon.
Another federal incentive homeowners can take advantage of is energy efficient mortgages (EEM). These can either finance energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, including renewable energy technologies, or increase your home buying power when buying a new energy efficient house.
The incentives presented above are just a few ways consumers can recoup the costs of installing a solar energy system. If you’re considering an installation, prepare yourself by reading up on which incentives could apply to you. Like any online purchase during which you grab a promo code and get some sort of discount, or when you present a coupon or rewards card at a store, your solar energy system installation can come with some great deals, too.